One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk Acousmatic Music


October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus




CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Ernó DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960)
String Quartets: No. 1 Op. 7 (1899) [27.50]; No. 3 in A minor Op. 33 (1926) [29.39]
Aviv Quartet (Sergey Ostrovsky (violin I); Evgenia Epshtein (violin II); Nathan Braude (viola); Rachel Mercer (cello))
rec. St. Anne’s Church, Toronto, Canada, 17-19 May 2010
NAXOS 8.572569 [57.29]

Experience Classicsonline

I have always thought of Dohnányi as, primarily, an orchestral composer. I suppose this was because the first pieces of his I ever got to know - the only ones I have really got to know - are the Ruralia Hungarica, written twenty-five years after the 1st Quartet and the even more famous Variations on Nursery Song. In more recent times I have got to know the Second Symphony a little (Chandos CHAN 9455). I have overlooked the chamber music; and I shouldn’t have done. It was indeed with a chamber work, his First Piano Quartet, that he first attracted the attention in 1895 of Brahms whose style can be detected in the First String Quartet. Dohnányi went on to study composition with Eugen D’Albert but it was also as pianist that he initially became known. In 1932 he even recorded some of own piano music (review).
After teaching in Berlin Dohnányi left Germany in the early days of the First War and went back home to work in Budapest. There he promoted the music of his countrymen especially his friends and fellow folk-song collectors Kodály and Bartók. At the end of his life, like Bartók, he gravitated towards America and is buried at Tallahassee, Florida of all places.
Dohnányi 1st Quartet has much that is nineteenth century romantic about it in its four movements. Brahms is to be heard as Richard Whitehouse points out in his informative booklet notes. The first movement is in clear sonata-form, but in the second movement I detected a touch of Dvorák. The movement is marked Allegretto grazioso. There are some folk-like elements in the main theme of the third movement a lovely Adagio, and in the drone bass accompaniment to the second theme in the breezy Vivace finale. Although weighing in at nearly half-an-hour the piece, for an early work, did not “outstay its hour”. It delivers a pleasing if somewhat undemanding experience, There were however some slightly quirky modulations, which point to a new way forward.
Along with their many other projects Naxos’s commitment to Dohnányi is noticeable. This is the fifth disc devoted to him in recent times. One can assume that the missing Second Quartet written during the First World War will appear in due course. It appears not to be available anywhere at present.
The Third Quartet, which curiously comes first on the disc, is an important utterance. The booklet notes say that the composer’s “significant handling of form in this piece is paralleled by a new expressive freedom”. I certainly concur but would add that by 1926 just a short time after Ruralia Hungarica’s success Dohnányi had finally found his voice. This quartet has just three movements. In the substantial first the two subjects are dramatically opposed both in terms of mood and key. I felt at times that the Aviv Quartet - beautifully photographed by the way on the back of the booklet - could have characterised these ideas even more firmly. Nevertheless there are some seriously passionate passages and some that are powerfully rhythmic which elicit strong attack and decisive commitment; note the breathless coda.
The second movement demonstrates the refreshing and free-thinking use of form mentioned earlier. It begins with a hymn-like opening, reminding me of a Victorian chant. After some development this falls into a Scherzo of some wit. There follows a strongly emotional passage based over a repeated pedal note. This dies into the opening melody, which is subtly varied and developed, especially in the accompanimental figures. The ending is calm and contented. The finale, by contrast, ends in a syncopated and excitingly rumbustious climax: an exhilarating Vivace giocoso. This is electric stuff at times and the playing likewise. In fact, as so often happens, I felt myself bemused as to why this quartet is not more often played and part of the standard repertoire. Perhaps someone in Hungary could tell us if it’s better known in Budapest.
I can only say that the disc is well worth the required modest investment even if only for the Third Quartet. Nothing about it will disappoint.

Gary Higginson
























































































































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.